London: An intruder on Tuesday attacked media baron Rupert Murdoch with a plastic plate during proceedings of a parliamentary committee probing the UK phone hacking scandal.

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A man in checked shirt lunged towards the 80-year-old Murdoch from behind and hit him on his shoulder with the plate with shaving foam that led to a 10 minute suspension of the proceedings.

He was fought off by a group of people including his Chinese origin wife Wendi Deng, who appeared to be slapping him. He was was caught by a couple of policemen and bundled out.

Murdoch remained calm while his son appeared rattled as he got off to protect his father during the commotion.

When the proceedings resumed, Murdoch had removed his jacket and continued his deposition.

'Most humble day of my life'

Facing the wrath of British lawmakers, media baron Rupert Murdoch on Tuesday told them that it was "the most humble day of my life", as he and his son James apologised to the victims of the phone-hacking scandal that has rocked police and politicians.

"This is the most humble day of my life," an apologetic Murdoch, the Australian-born head of the global News Corporation empire told House of Commons Culture, Media and Sport Committee, probing the widening scandal that has claimed the scalp of two top British police officers.

Murdoch, The News Corporation chief and James gave evidence over activities at the now-closed News of the World tabloid. The issue has shaken the British establishment and placed Prime Minister David Cameron under tremendous pressure.

Appearing alongside Murdoch, his son James apologized for the phone hacking and told lawmakers that "these actions do not live up to the standards our company aspires to."

Eighty-year-old Murdoch said he was "appalled and ashamed" to learn that the phone of 12-year-old girl Milly Dowler had been hacked by his now closed News of the World.

He told MPs he was not aware hacking was more widespread than originally claimed and he had "clearly" been misled by some of his staff.

His appearance is the first time he has faced direct scrutiny by MPs during his 40-year media UK career.

His son James apologised to victims, saying he had great regrets.

Rupert said he was not aware of the extent of phone hacking at the company until earlier this year when it handed over new information to the police - triggering a new inquiry.

He said the News of the World was "just 1 per cent" of his worldwide business and that he employed "people I trust to run these divisions". James Murdoch, chairman of News International, said the firm failed to live up to "the standards they aspired to" and was "determined to put things right and make sure they do not happen again".

"I would like to say just how sorry I am and how sorry we are to particularly the victims of illegal voice mail interceptions and to their families," James said.

Murdoch's son James said he had no knowledge or evidence that Rebekah Brooks, the former CEO of News International, UK, had knowledge of the phone hacking.

When asked a pointed question that whether he was responsible for the hacking scandal, Murdoch said he is not responsible for the News of the World fiasco.

"No, I am not resposnible...It is the people that I trusted to run it and the people they trusted," Rupert said.

Meanwhile, Premier Cameron said the widening phone hacking scandal in his country posed "big problems" that would however be resolved and not distract from other issues.

"These are big problems, but we are a big country and we are going to sort them out," he told reporters after meeting with Nigerian President Goodluck Jonathan in Lagos.

Opening the hearing, the committee chairman John Whittingdale said abuses had been uncovered "which had shocked and angered the country" and it was clear Parliament had been misled.

The father-son duo had initially declined to appear before the parliamentary committee but changed their minds after they were issued with a summons to attend. Murdoch's embattled group has publicly apologized twice during the weekend, promising to make amends in the aftermath the hacking scandal.

The company printed apologies in national newspapers on Saturday and Sunday for the wrongdoings and unethical practices adopted by journalists of the now-closed tabloid.

Two senior police figures -- Metropolitan Police Commissioner Stephenson and Assistant Commissioner John Yates -- who quit over the scandal were grilled by MPs.

Meanwhile, investigations continued into the death of former News of the World journalist Sean Hoare, who had made allegations of phone hacking. Hoare's body was found at his home on Monday. Police say his death is as yet unexplained but not thought to be suspicious.

Hoare was the first to allege that illegal practices were being adopted at the tabloid under the editorship of Andy Coulson.

Rebakah testifies in front of UK Parliament

Rebekah Brooks, the former CEO of News International who appeared before the committee said, she was aware that the News of the World used the services of private detectives.

"I was aware that News of the World used private investigators," 43-year-old former executive of the tabloid said.

The flame haired journalist who is on the line of fire for the hacking scandal said, she never sanctioned payments to police. She also apologised for the intercepts and said "We have acted as quickly as possible over evidence".

"Mistakes were made but we are putting them right," she told lawmakers, who grilled her for the fiasco that shook the British police and politics.

The hacking issue has shaken the British establishment and placed Prime Minister David Cameron under tremendous pressure from Labour and some of his own MPs over his decision to hire ex-NoW editor Andy Coulson as his communications chief.

Coulson, who was arrested two weeks ago, resigned as editor of the tabloid due to the phone-hacking allegations.

Rupert said the News of the World was "just 1 per cent" of his worldwide business and that he employed "people I trust to run these divisions".

(JPN/Agencies)